To The Seven Churches
Chapters 2 & 3 in the book of Revelation are written to the churches of Asia minor, which made up the group of churches representing the churches of the world. We will discover in these two chapters which churches were pleasing to God. Only two of the seven churches were pleasing to God because of what they taught. The two churches were the church of Smyrna and the church of Philadelphia. These names have nothing to do with names of churches today, they just represent a type. They will however tell us what your church should be teaching. (It is their deeds that apply to us today). We will begin our study in chapter two of the great book of Revelation.
Revelation chapter 2
the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the
seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden
candlesticks; (Revelation 2:1). Again the mystery of the seven stars represent the seven
angels or overseers of the church, and the seven candlesticks represent the
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: (Revelation 2:2). They did not tolerate sin among their members and they carefully examined those who claimed to apostles but were not. Just as we need to check out the teachings we may be receiving from some man or woman with the Word of God.
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. (Revelation 2:3). They patiently worked hard at it without quitting.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:4). But, they wondered away from Christ, the living Word.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Revelation 2:5). Remember how it was with thy first love (Christ) when you followed the Word. Now they just play church and follow doctrines of men. If they do not repent and change their ways, they will be removed from the place among the churches.
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. (Revelation 2:6). The good part was that they hated the immoral deeds of the Nicolaitanes. The Nicolaitanes were Balaamites; followers of the man who induced the Israelites to fall by lust and attend idol feasts. (Revelation 2:14, Numbers 31:15-16).
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7). Do you have an ear to hear? To everyone that overcomes and is victorious, He will give the tree of life which is Christ. "Paradise is the Garden of God." (Garden of Eden if you will).
And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; (Revelation 2:8). This message was from Christ, who died for us and came back to life, defeating death and the one who had the power of death which is Satan. (Hebrews 2:14).
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9). We are not speaking of our brother Judah, but those who claimed to be Jews and were not. We are speaking of the Kenites who were the sons of Cain, the first murderer, who are sons of the devil. (John 8:42-44). A church must know the truth and not be afraid to teach it. What does your church teach?
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10). We should not fear living in the pre-tribulation, or what lies ahead in the tribulation. The important part for Christians in the tribulation is taught in (Mark 13:9-11), when we will be delivered up before Satan in the hour of temptation. We are not to think or premeditate what to say at that time, because the Holy Spirit will speak for us like on Pentecost day. Not an unknown tongue, but a language that everyone understands. And they can't harm us in any way as stated in (Luke 21:18). If we are faithful till the end, even when facing death, God will give us the Crown of Life, an unending glorious future.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11). He who overcomes will not fear the second death, which is administered by the one who can destroy your soul, that is Christ! Your church should be teaching these things like the church of Smyrna.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges. (Revelation 2:12). Out of the mouth of Christ comes the Word that is the two edge sword.
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (Revelation 2:13). They lived in a city where Satan's was at the center of satanic worship. Antipas was one of the church's first martyrs. But we must not forget that Antipas also has another meaning we should be aware of. In the Strong's concordance numbers 493, 473, and 3962 in the Greek dictionary it means "instead of" or anti-father. As stated in 2 Thessalonians 2, when the gathering back to Christ will not be until the anti-father (antichrist), sits in the temple of God, claiming to be Christ.
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (Revelation 2:14). They tolerated things of Balaam such as sexual sin and idol worship. "One of Balaam's main sins was that he was a preacher for money." Does any of this sound familiar?
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. (Revelation 2:15). "The Nicolaitanes were a Greek form of Balaamites." Doctrines of false teachings and just playing religion, as so many churches do today.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Revelation 2:16). When Christ returns, He will fight against such churches with the truth of the Word. Be careful not to support such churches that Christ would be against?
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17). The manna is the truth of God's Word. The stone could identify Christ. (Revelation 3:12, 19:12). But wait, A stone is also used in (Revelation 13:18), to count the number of the beast. Remember their is a true Christ and a false Christ (antichrist), who will come first. Make sure that your stone (your rock), is Jesus Christ, and not the stone used to identify Satan who comes pretending to be Christ.
And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass. (Revelation 2:18). Eyes that can see right into the core, and the treading feet of polished brass.
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. (Revelation 2:19). Their kindness, gifts and service to the poor, and constant improvement in all these things.
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (Revelation 2:20). Jezebel is a type that would teach that sexual sin is not important, practice immorality, and idolatry. (False religions and traditions).
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. (Revelation 2:21). They kept messing with pagan rights, heathen religions, and traditions of men.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (Revelation 2:22). They will be cast into a sickbed of intense affliction, or in the bed with Satan, unless they repent and change their ways.
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:23). They will suffer a spiritual death according to what they deserve.
But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. (Revelation 2:24). Those who have not followed these false teachings and went to the depths of Satan, He will ask nothing further of them.
But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. (Revelation 2:25). Hold tightly to the truth until He returns.
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. (Revelation 2:26). Those who overcome and hang till the end with truth, He will give the strength.
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:27). God will rule with those who overcome, and those who do not will be smashed just like a clay pot.
And I will give him the morning star. (Revelation 2:28). The "Morning Star" is Christ. But, the morning star is also one of Satan's names, and he is coming first to deceive many. (Strong's Hebrew dictionary #1966 heylel, "in sense of brightness" the morning star - Lucifer). But he is the fake that come first. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelation 2:29). Do you have an ear to hear?
Revelation chapter 3
unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath
the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast
a name that thou livest, and art dead.
(Revelation 3:1). Sardis was a live
and active church, but they were spiritually dead. Sardis was a merchant town
and was the area of crooks and low life.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (Revelation 3:2). Their deeds were far from right in the sight of God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (Revelation 3:3). He is warning them to repent and turn back to Him again, or they might miss His return.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4). Some in Sardis have not soiled their garments with the worlds filth. They stuck with His Word. White always signifies purity.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5). Everyone who overcomes with the help of the Holy Spirit will be clothed in white robes. The white linen garments that are woven by your works here on earth. They will not be blotted out of the book of life. When your blotted out you do not exist.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelation 3:6). These are the facts that the spirit is telling us.
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Revelation 3:7). Philadelphia meaning brotherly love; He finds no fault with this church because they have the "key of David" that shows you all truth. The "Seed of David" which is Christ.
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. (Revelation 3:8). They were not a strong, wealthy, or large popular church, but they kept God's Word and new the truth. A little strength from God goes a long way.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. (Revelation 3:9). This is Christ speaking of the Kenites who have caused Judah much dismay over the years. This church aligns with the teachings of Smyrna who taught about the Kenites. Christ taught it in the "parable of the sower," Matthew 13 and Mark 4. This is what your church should be teaching, or they are not teaching everything about God's Word.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10). If you keep His Word He will keep you from failing in the hour of temptation during the great tribulation. But, you must first know the truth of His Word before you can keep it. Have ye not read?
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Revelation 3:11). Your crown is coming if you hang till the end and stay strong knowing the truth.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Revelation 3:12). Christ is speaking of the spiritual wedding that will be taking place to those who overcome. (Isaiah 62:4-5). We will be pillars of strength to hold up in the temple of God.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelation 3:13). Do you have ears to hear and eyes to see the truth? Church is where the truth of God's Word is being taught; then Christ is present. It has nothing to do with a big building or country club setting. We have one more church to cover below, but Smyrna and Philadelphia are the examples of what churches should be teaching today.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (Revelation 3:14). Amen meaning "That's That" or it is complete. One who stands firm, the faithful and true witness, the primary source of God's creation.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (Revelation 3:15). Always trying to please everyone, afraid to offend anybody because it may drive them out of the church. It is good to teach the truth of the Word because it weeds out the dead heads, trouble makers, and non-believers.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16). God does not like it when you are just lukewarm and spiritually dead. You must be willing to teach the truth and not be afraid to do so.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Revelation 3:17). They may be financially rich, but are spiritually dead and blind to the truth. Naked in righteous acts of the saints. (Revelations 19:8).
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:18). Spiritual gold that is refined truth form Christ. Eye salve, or spiritual medicine to see the truth.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Revelation 3:19). Christ will continually discipline and punish everyone He loves till they turn from their indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God. Not the things of the world.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20). Christ will not beg people to be saved and we can't either. When you hear Him calling you need to answer, and then He will come and fellowship with you. "Conversion comes from within."
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21). To all that conquer, Jesus will let sit beside Him on the throne, just as He conquered and took His place with the Father on His throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Revelation 3:22). This is what the spirit is saying to those who have an ear to hear. This completes the letter to the churches. How is your church doing? Are they totally aligned with the Word of God, or are they teaching their own doctrine and traditions of men?
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